The Advocates welcomes the introduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act
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The Advocates for Human Rights welcomes the introduction
of S.4787, the Afghan Adjustment Act. The legislation would create a way for
many Afghans now in the United States to apply for permanent resident status.
Most of the approximately 76,000 people who arrived in the wake of the U.S.
withdrawal from Afghanistan were "paroled" into the country for two
years with no clear way to remain in the country permanently.
For nearly one year, The Advocates has called for the
introduction and passage of this legislation while providing legal help to the
more than 1,200 Afghans with temporary status now living in Minnesota.
"While the U.S. evacuation efforts last August were extraordinary, our
responsibility did not end when the last plane left Kabul," said Robin Phillips,
executive director of The Advocates for Human Rights. "An uncertain
immigration future compounds the trauma experienced by people who have lost
their homes and families, and risks returning people to face serious human
rights violations. The Afghan Adjustment Act is an essential step toward
fulfilling our promise to Afghans." Phillips added.
If passed, the Afghan Adjustment Act will follow previous
responses to wartime allies. By providing an opportunity to apply for permanent
residence, the bill would allow people to rebuild lives in their new
communities without fear of returning to Afghanistan. It would also provide
some with the possibility of reuniting with immediate family members. The bill,
which creates a straightforward green card application process for Afghan
evacuees, would also help overwhelmed immigration agencies. Without
congressional action, most Afghans will need to file complex and time-consuming
"The Advocates looks forward to working with
Congress to ensure the Afghan Adjustment Act works for all people impacted by
the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan," said Phillips. "And as a
Minnesota-based organization which, for nearly forty years, has worked to
protect people fleeing persecution, we are grateful to Senator Klobuchar for
her leadership in introducing the bill."
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